Powell will serve a second term as chair of the Fed, while Brainard will slide into the role of vice-chair.
As an American economist, Brainard has served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2014.
Prior to that, in 2009, Brainard served as counselor to the secretary of the treasury. A year later, she began as the undersecretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which she served from 2010-2013. During this time, she received the Alexander Hamilton Award for her service.
She currently serves as administrative governor and chair of four committees: financial stability, federal reserve bank affairs, consumer and community affairs, and lastly, payments, clearing and statements.
1. Brainard was born in Hamburg, Germany. As the daughter of an American diplomat, she spent most of her childhood in West Germany and Poland.
COLLEGE AND BEYOND
2. Brainard attended Wesleyan University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree with university honors in 1983. In 1989, she received her Master's and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, where she was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship.
FEDERAL RESERVE & GOVERNMENT CAREER
3. Brainard has served under three United States Presidents: Obama, Trump and Biden, as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Before taking on that role, she joined the Clinton administration in 1997 as deputy national economic adviser and deputy assistant to President Clinton. Under Clinton, she worked as the White House staff coordinator for APEC, was responsible for the G7/G8 Jobs Conferences and accompanied Clinton on his many meetings with world leaders.
In 2010, she was sworn in as the undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs at the Department of the Treasury under Obama. In this role, she covered the euro area crisis and currency relations with China.
In 2014, Brainard was nominated to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors alongside Stanley Fischer and Jerome Powell. Following confirmation, she was sworn in by Fed Chair Yellen, beginning her 14-year term.
MCKINSEY & MIT
4. Besides her government involvement, Brainard has also worked in the private sector. She started her career working in management consulting at McKinsey & Company, where she advised corporate clients.
She also served as an assistant and associate professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management from 1990-1996. Her publications there had a significant impact on trade, jobs and offshore production as well as unemployment and trade policy.
Later, from 2001-2008, she worked to address global economic challenges as vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development Program and Bernard L. Schwartz chair at the Brookings Institution.
5. Lastly, she is an editor and co-editor for numerous books covering climate change and global poverty, economic challenges and the private sector. She has also published a variety of articles covering economic issues.
Brainard’s views on inflation and interest rates are very similar to Powell’s; therefore, many expected similar policies regardless of who won the chair nomination.